Jeremy Fish has become, over the last twenty-five years, one of San Francisco’s most recognizable and beloved artists. While Fish is usually based in North Beach, he spent the end of 2020 living and working in the Doolan-Larson Residence and Storefronts, a national historic landmark at the corner of Haight and Ashbury. In partnership with San Francisco Heritage and San Francisco Grants for the Arts, the Haight Street Art Center is proud to present Living in the Past, which includes the sketches and drawings Fish made while in residence, opening April 17, 2021. 

Video by Jeremy McNamara

The Upper Haight is at once one of San Francisco’s best-known and most troubled neighborhoods: the former epicenter of the 1960s counterculture that has since then been both a bustling commercial and residential area as well as a magnet for people experiencing addiction and homelessness. Compounding epidemics in healthcare, systemic racism, and economic inequality have made a difficult situation worse, and like many neighborhoods in San Francisco, the Upper Haight, its businesses, and residents are facing existential threats.

Fish’s artwork is a testament to the history of the Upper Haight – its most famous residents and meeting places; its architecture and character – and the stories that hover over every foot of ground there. His living at the corner of Haight and Ashbury at this moment infuses the poignancy of these images: the fear and hope we all feel now. How can we best serve the people and the places that make the Haight unique, and central to San Francisco?